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How will the Vikings Replace E.J.?

It was one of the worst looking injuries I’ve ever seen on a football field. It was absolutely Joe Theisman like in it’s severity.. It was Gruesome ! It was horrific !

Did I mention this injury looked bad ?

In the aftermath of it all, E.J. Henderson is looking at a long painful rehab with no guarantee of ever making it back on the football field. I know the doubts that E.J. MUST be feeling right now. As you read this, think of the physical pain he is feeling …….right now !

The frustration of coming all the way back from the dislocated toes injury ( If you’ve seen the pictures of his feet immediately after you will know it was much worse then it sounds.) Only in the last couple of weeks was he getting back to his old form. Then “BAM”.

I’m going to try not to feel sorry for E.J., he’s going to survive and eventually thrive. He is a very tough hombre ! He’s made more money then most of us will ever see in our lifetime. He has the support of friends, family ( did you see his brother, in the cart riding right beside him ? – The genuine look of concern was touching ) and his teammates. If he never plays again, he would make an excellent coach and mentor for younger players. So, this is not about feeling bad for E.J.

No, this is about feeling the loss that has been inflicted on the rest of us. The team, and it’s supporters. How does the team replace such an important cog in the mechanism ?

Simple answer: They can’t !!!

You can Chester Brinkley me to death, but that is simple hyperbole.

Yes, Brinkley is promising. Yes, he hits like a truck. He is terrific against the run. But he’s a rookie coming off a severe knee injury of his own. He is slow footed and a liability in coverage. On the Boyntonian scale for middle linebackers, Henderson is a 93, while Brinkley is a 60.

Coach Childress and Leslie Frasier are going to have to use LB’s Ben Leber and Chad Greenway along with safety Madeau Williams, etc. to support him.

Watch how the Vikings run defense is effected by the loss of Henderson this weekend against the Bengals. We are about to see just how good E.J. really was. Here’s hoping the ripple effect won’t be staggering !

The Vikings will most likely resort to bringing in an extra safety on passing downs. They will probably blitz less, and look for the Bengals to attack the short middle of the defense early and often.

The Vikings may have to counter by dropping one of their defensive linemen into coverage, which will have a negative effect on their pass rush. Corners will be forced to give receivers an extra step for fear of being beaten deep because the QB will have more time to throw. And so on……

Was a major hole opened up on the defense last Sunday evening ? Can Frasier and Co. find a way to plug it? We should get a good glimpse this weekend when the 9-3 Bengals bring their circus act to town.

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10 Responses to “How will the Vikings Replace E.J.?”

  1. starrc10 says:

    Jasper will play well enough, he reminds me of an improved version of Napolean Harris who stepped in last year and got us into the playoffs. I keep hoping the changes (LB, and possibly safety) will get us a spark.

  2. Dan says:

    The Vikes will overcome. E.J. is such a good guy, I feel so bad for him. Unfortunately, this is something almost every nfl team has to deal with…they just have to focus even more on the goal.

    Secondly, I just want to thank Adam and the rest of I’ve been following sense the beginning of the summer, and this website has replaced accessvikings as my go to vikings source. No that you have to have a sign-in name and pay for some of the material on accessvikings I never go there anymore (not to mention their stuff was getting bland). The crew at Vikingsgab does a tremendous job with the site and bringing up interesting topics. Keep it up! Feel free to advertise any openings for commentators in the future! 🙂

    • Fran the Man says:

      Howdy Dan. I agree about this being a much better site than AV. I’m curious why those guys (Coach, ‘Skillet, Nume, purple, lost and the rest) don’t come over here though.

  3. Fragile Freds says:

    You can Chester Brinkley me to death, but that is simple hyperbole.

    Freds believes his name is Casper, not Chester.

  4. Fran the Man says:

    There’s just no way to replace EJ, at least in the short-term. Bad timing,for sure and I hope we don’t rush Winfield in because of it. He needs to be 100% for the playoffs.

    It’ll be interesting to see how we try to counter losing EJ. From past experence, I’m not comfortable at all with our coaching staff coming up with anything.

    There will never be a better time for several rookies to show up. I expect Asher to respond well and have my fingers crossed for Brinkley.

  5. Fragile Freds says:

    Dan is right on the money, well stated Dan.

    Chris, is Brinkley really that slow? He must be faster than Farwell? No?

  6. Fran the Man says:

    Just read this over at PFT, a little bit of encouragement anyway;

  7. bigjohnny84 says:

    Good link Fran, as always. The Bungles just arent a scary team. We just need to win the turnover battle and have fewer penalties.

  8. jayme says:

    its Jasper Binkley

  9. jayme says:

    Brinkley’ my bad

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